Out of luck

The last episode has run in the wonderful HBO series, Luck, which has been cancelled. Alas, it was witty, intelligent, dramatic, and filled with wonderful characters – just the sort of television show that should succeed. They included: Dustin Hoffman as Ace Bernstein out of prison looking for revenge and redemption, Nick Nolte as the old trainer looking for a comeback, and the ragtag collection of misfits seeking a Pick Six. Every character was pitch perfect.

When HBO cancelled the show after one season, they appeared to be caving to complaints by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Indeed, three horses had died during production, but scores of horses die each year in racing accidents and the tracks stay open. The real reason was likely tumbling audience figures, down by half from the out-of-the-gate million viewers. It’s a fact that there were scenes where I had no idea what was happening, but then again, that’s often been the case when I go to the track and leave behind my money.

Another show that I am trying hard to like is NBC’s new Smash, a play within a play about Marilyn Monroe as it readies for Broadway. I was originally attracted by the news that my heartthrob Angelica Huston was involved. I have been a raving fan since she played Maerose in Prizzi’s Honor (1985), one of my all-time favorite films. Smash is fine, the choreogaphy and singing superb, but the plot is afternoon soap. I’m hanging in, hoping that Ivy Lynn (played by Megan Hilty) gets dumped as Marilyn and is replaced by underdog Karen Cartwright (played by Katharine McPhee).

Meanwhile, my current favorite series The Good Wife, and the best mini-series since The West Wing, is beginning to look a little frayed as the third season limps to a close. Tell me how Will sitting impotently around the office with a long face helps the drama? Why has Eli become a caricature of himself? Where has Kalinda’s raunch gone? Does Alicia really need to buy her old house back? The end of the season is not leaving me hanging.

Fortunately, none of this TV talk really matters. Spring is in the air. Reruns can roll without me.

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